Polyvinyl

PHANTASTIC FERNITURE - s/t LP

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The mission is obvious: Don’t overthink it. That’s evident in the urgent garage-pop perfection on Phantastic Ferniture’s self-titled debut album, and in the unconventional path the band has taken to releasing it.

Phantastic Ferniture is the project of old friends Julia Jacklin, Elizabeth Hughes, Ryan K Brennan, and Tom Stephens, who wanted to shake the shackles of their meticulously crafted solo work to experience a second, giddy adolescence.

“I’d gone straight into folk music,” says Jacklin, “so every experience I’d had on stage was playing sad music with a guitar in my hand. I thought, I would love to know what it’s like to make people feel good and dance.”

Phantastic Ferniture’s spiritual home may be the garage but they were born in a bar, specifically the hallowed basement of Frankie’s – a beloved pinball and pizza shop in Sydney. One late night in 2014, on Jacklin’s birthday, a group hug manifested amid the pinball machines, with all ten participants vowing to form a band. “Only four of us remembered the next day,” notes Hughes.

So that there could be no backing down, these four grifters booked a gig four months in the future at the Record Crate in Glebe. They advertised it as ‘Phantastic Ferniture’s Christmas Extravaganza First and Final Gig’, then got back on with their lives. “We thought, that’s ages away, we’ll definitely have songs by then,” Hughes recalls.